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It is the day when the Jamai (the son in law as called in Bengal, the Bengali version of a damad ji) gets pampered. An age-old tradition where the father in law will get the best fish from the market - yes, fish still rules the market and the cuisine for this occasion, ilish, rohu, prawn, pabda, topshe to crabs, all are there. The mother in law will cook her heart out and although the underlying concept is very silly (to pamper the son in law so that he takes care of the daughter properly), the celebration is centred around food. It is Jamai Shashthi – The day for the son in laws.
Menu centred around various traditional, forgotten and uncommon specialities are the highlight of this food fest. Aaheli the legendary Bengali restaurant presents its quintessential thali with a multitude of dishes. The highlights are Chingri Malai Curry with giant sized prawns, Borishali Ilish, Pur Bhara Bhekti, Bhaja Mashlar Alur Dom, Phulkopir Dalna, their signature Rajnandini Pulao, Chanar Dalna and more. There is also a Fruit Platter which comes as a part of the thali exclusively for the son in laws. The best part, of course, is that every mother in law, if she wishes to, can perform traditional blessing rituals with the kulo and diya and the likes. All this for a price of Rs. 1975 plus taxes for non-vegetarian and Rs. 1295 plus taxes for a vegetarian thali.
Step on to Sonargaon of Taj Bengal Kolkata for a scrumptious meal. Aamish (non-vegetarian) and Niramish (vegetarian) thalis comprising of Topshe Fry, Kosha Mangsho, Echorer Kaliya, Shukto, Radha Ballavi, Kacha Lanka Bata Murgi, Chingri Malai Curry, Kacha Aamer Chutney and much more, where the name instantly rings a bell in a true-blue Bengalis mind and heart. This is available for lunch and dinner and at Rs. 2048 and Rs. 2410 for a vegetarian and non-vegetarian thali.
First Innings, the multicuisine restaurant of The Stadel has a special Jamai Shasthi thali with welcome drinks, fruit platter, starters which are deep fried. Exciting the taste buds, they have an exotic vegetarian fare with the likes of Echorer Alu Kalia, Aloo Phulkopir Jhol for vegetarian and Gondhoraj Maach Paturi, Kacha Lanka Murgi Jhol and Bhuna Chingri Masala for the non-vegetarian platter. End the meal here with some delectable desserts like Rajbhog and Himsagar Aam Doi. This is priced at Rs 700 for the vegetarian ones and Rs 850 for the non-vegetarian ones.
Bhojohori Manna, another very well known and popular Bengali restaurant chain believes in keeping the options open with a variety of fish in their menu. Few unusual dishes like Moricher Jhol, Midnapuri Ilish and Daab Chingri are adorning the menu other than a whole lot of traditional Bengali dishes. It is available on À la carte basis.
Celebration at Oh! Calcutta is just not for the day on the 31st of May. It has spilled over to the weekend on the 3rd and 4th of June too. The Jamai Bhoj includes special dishes like Topsher Cutlet, Echorer Chop, Khuna Chingri Curry, Daab Bhapa Mach, Rajbariri Kofta Curry, Gondhoraj Ice Cream, Summer Fruit Platter and much more. Special buffet on the 31st for lunch and dinner is priced at Rs. 950 all inclusive. The weekend lunch buffet at Silver Spring outlet is also priced at Rs. 950 all inclusive. The dinner buffet at Forum outlet for the weekend is priced at Rs. 975 all inclusive.
The modes of celebrations have changed over the time as life has changed over the years. If in the past they had the luxury of availing a leave on a weekday, they would carry a Saree and other dress materials for the members of the Shoshurbari (in-laws) and a huge haandi of sweets. Nowadays the celebrations spill over to the weekends. Smartphones and other gadgets, kitchen appliances, from yoga mats to holiday packages are what the modern-day son in laws gift. The fact that this is a festival and celebration around food has not changed. Some things never change, right?
A true blue Kolkata foodie, Anindya loves cooking and eating his Kosha Mangsho. Anindya weaves stories around food as he believes exceptional food is an emotional experience. Previously a restauranter, now a passionate photographer and traveller, he runs a successful blog called Pikturenama and contributes to other publications.